Since 2007, Ameren Illinois has offered an hourly pricing program, namely Power Smart Pricing (PSP), to its customers. PSP is mandated by law to have a third-party vendor administer and market it. Energy delivery customers in the State of Illinois have supply choice. In 2016, Ameren introduced a demand response program, called Peak Time Rewards, as a benefit of smart meter upgrades. The same third-party vendor won the bid to promote both programs.
Initially, the law did not allow Ameren Illinois to actively promote the day ahead pricing rate option, but the Future Energy Jobs Act enacted in 2016 permitted the utility to educate customers alongside the third-party program administrator. Ameren Illinois has made small shifts along the way and now is reaping the benefits from a more integrated effort in educating our customers on their energy-saving options.
To bring greater consistency to communications and deliver on our value proposition of helping customers save, Ameren Illinois has implemented greater program integration which build awareness. Serving this saving message at critical touch points validates our approach. Cross promotion occurs now in the various places within our website: Efficiency, Billing and Payments and Manage Program.
Matt Muenster, former HGTV host of Bath Crasher, has become the face of Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency program, under Energy Savings Made Easy. The two programs have teamed up with energy efficiency offering customers greater conversation and year-round information to better manage and control energy usage and costs. Engagement has increased.
Value Proposition: Energy Savings Made Easy, gives customers simple ways to save and manage energy usage and costs. By integrating these programs into this message platform, we want customers to know: You can count on Ameren Illinois to guide you on how to shift your usage and take your savings to the next level with Power Smart Pricing and Peak Time Rewards. This reinforces the value proposition and drives enrollment and engagement.
The Bigger Impacts:
- Aimed at providing cohesion with existing Ameren Illinois creative campaigns for strong customer recognition; identified natural synergies with the Energy Savings
- Made Easy campaign as we support customers in their savings journey
- Aligning to Energy Saving Made Easy reinforces ease, helping to get customers over the hurdle that changing their behavior is complicated
- We are building on established equity and leveraging existing content without reinventing the wheel or taking away from other priorities
- Leveraging energy efficiency alignment to help impact critical J.D. Power attributes
- We are shifting from a seasonal-only approach to one that drives engagement year-round
Customer Engagement Results:
- Use of digital communications yield a delivery rate: 97 percent
- Unique Open Rate (UOR): 33 percent
- Open to Click Rate: 12 percent
- The 33 percent UOR is strong and a bit higher than industry average (25 percent)
- The Check Your Dashboard Call-to-Action (CTA) was the most popular (60 percent of total clicks), followed by Discover More Ways to Save (17 percent of total clicks)
- The Check Your Dashboard CTA led to nearly 1,000 account logins
- The unsubscribe rate remains low at 0.37 percent (based on emails delivered)
Power Smart Pricing is a supply rate program for residential electric customers where the price you pay for electricity varies hour by hour based on actual market prices. Your bill is calculated using the hourly market prices and your corresponding hourly usage. With Power Smart Pricing, you can manage your electricity costs by using energy wisely during hours when prices are higher.
The Ameren Illinois Peak Time Rewards® program gives eligible residential customers the opportunity to earn bill credits by reducing electricity usage during times of high electricity demand, typically summer afternoons. Participation helps the environment by reducing emissions and improving grid reliability.